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21 Comments

  1. YES!!! I fully agree with this! 7 hours of school is plenty for a young child-they shouldn’t have to keep doing it when they get home. My daughter’s 1st grade teacher last year sent home homework just about every night and we both hated it. This year, her 2nd grade teacher has told me that kids need time to be kids and she rarely sends any home. As a result, we’re able to spend more time reading (which is the best homework of all anyways) and playing.

  2. Kelly Cooke McNamee says:

    My son has homework in Kindergarten Monday thru Thursday. It’s a nightmare trying to get it done. In school they are so busy trying to teach them what once used to be 1st grade curriculum that we are forced to teach them the stuff that used to be taught in Kindergarten at home. It is incredibly sad hearing my son at 6 saying he hates school.

  3. Emma Craig says:

    Beautifully written! It’s been so depressing since my daughter started school 2 years ago to see how she’s gone from excited when I say, “Let’s do an experiment” or “Let’s go get a new book” to “I hate reading” and “I hate school.” We need to start a stop-the-homework movement!

  4. I agree that ” Worksheet Homework” is Pointless. That is why I started talking to the people I work with about using “Invitations To Play” Instead to Practice or Review what they learned that day. I believe that children can’t be expected to sit for 6 hours a day. They need to engage.

  5. Great points! It was also a nightmare for homework in our household. Last year for my 2nd grader, he would be working on his homework for 2 hours. Finally we broke it down into sections, and I set the timer. I said “let’s see if you can get the next section done in 10 minutes”. It really got him to focus. I always gave him more time than he needed.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I wish more parents and schools realized the research shows there are no proven benefits to doing homework! An alternative solution: Montessori schools. As families, we should be spending more quality time with our children, playing outside, eating dinner often at the dinner table, reading, and doing practical life work! This would make our children more well rounded as a “whole individual.” Children are natural learners and we need to inspire their tendency to seek out knowledge that they are genuinely interested in!

  7. My child has just entered middle school and no longer has recess or PE, for an 11 year old boy that’s horrible. Not only do we have nightly homework, we now have weekend homework, projects and Monday tests. It is a constant battle and I don’t know how to make it any better. It is frustrating as a parent seeing my child not getting to play and have fun and get some good EXERCISE every day!

  8. I have been a teacher for the past 21 years. I agree that homework for the sake of doing homework does not increase anything but frustration. I plan my day around the needs of my class. If someone doesn’t complete something due to difficulty, it makes no sense to send it home and have them continue to be frustrated. I hang onto the assignment and we work on it the next day. If a child is goofing off and not using his time wisely , he will get to take it home to complete the task. This is a rare occurrence. Most of my students love knowing that when school is over they get a break. We all need that!!!

  9. Hate to be a buzz-kill, but all of the articles at the beginning of this article point to stories that base their findings on the same Harris Cooper study; therefore, they are redundant and not useful in corroborating the narrative.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely agree with the sentiments and story in this article. I too have the same conflicts with my 3rd grade daughter and I share the same findings on the efficacy of homework at this age.

    The fact is that our teachers are teaching from the same patterns that they learned from. They are unable to remove themselves and look at the problem objectively. There is also a large contingency of pediatricians and researchers who look at the use of iPhones and other screen based technology and assert that it is harmful. The fact is that to truly make the next leap in human development, we need to innovate and move beyond the current paradigm and teach our kids in a manner consistent with what we ANTICIPATE their future needs to be rather than our own inefficient methods.

    1. But you decided to point this out anyway to what? Look smarter than everyone else. Yet you agree with the overall message.? I bet you’re part of the grammar police brigade as well.

      1. seems like he’s just playing devils advocate and suggesting that we come up with a paradigm that allows us to base our teachings on future issues the kids will face vs. on what we think they need to know (e.g. how to spell “faucet” in the first grade).. He also makes a good point that citing studies which all cite the same study will lesson the effectiveness of an argument made to someone who does NOT buy into this idea that homework is harmful. Good points, Zack!

  10. As a teacher, i refuse to give homework and as a parent i would never enforce homework with my son.

  11. Sylvia Guanlao says:

    The school must be clear on the purpose of homeworks/assignments. To measure how each student understood the day’s lessons. If the y don’t like assignments–a test the following day can also be an alternative to measure each students’ understanding but will take away few minutes or hour from regular classroom
    teaching.

  12. We are really fortunate that there is minimal homework in our house this year and it’s all coming from our freshman. Neither my kindergartener nor my 5th grader have had homework this year. It’s wonderful and they get to leave school work at school.

  13. My second grader did not have homework the first month of school, for this very reason. The teacher knew it took away from important family time, etc. However, once the kids started to struggle with the concepts in the classroom, they started getting a math sheet sent home every night to complete. I have the same struggles with my kiddo. He has almost said the very words your daughter has said. “Why?! It doesn’t matter anyway! We just throw it away! It isn’t for a grade.” And the list goes on and on. Thank you for sharing your story and trying to help everyone out there understand that some things cause more harm than good!

  14. Stephanie says:

    I am not sure I believe that parents are asking for homework. This sounds like a cop out to me that could be easily addressed by surveying parents at each grade level on their preferences and getting actual data. Then you would know parents’ opinions and see what approach to take.

    1. Linda L Dahl says:

      As a kindergarten teacher, I believe that children should be free to be children after school, and not be saddled with busy work. The charter school where I currently teach is a no homework school, for which I’m so grateful, our children love to learn. When at a district 5 years ago, the parents were asking for homework, so I had to make worksheets to keep them happy. Those parents seemed to think that it made their children smarter if they had homework every night, so I had to comply to their wishes.

  15. I’m still going to school for education. Do you think sending home sheets with only say, 5-6 problems on and the only instructions is for them to try, and its only so the teacher can evaluate understanding after it it entering their head at x point in the day and seeing what stuck and what needs reviewed on the next day, and do it gets a reward like a classroom treat or something?

    1. Linda L Dahl says:

      As an elementary level teacher, I think that children need time away from the learning they’ve been doing all day in order to process the learning and to have time to make choices to read, to play, etc. If they haven’t learned a concept in 6 – 7 hours of school, boring worksheets are not going to strengthen their knowledge. When you go home after a long day, do you want to still be faced with paperwork? (Sorry, as a teacher you will be doing lots of work after hours, but is it helpful to do this to children?)

      Intrinsic motivation is better than any reward system. Children who do things for rewards often will only do things if they can get something for it, and this can train them to be “getters” rather than “doers”.

      Education at the early elementary levels is for the most part developmentally inappropriate, as is forcing children to continue busy work after school. We want children to love learning, but how can they when the work is tedious and of little value to their real learning?

  16. They. Were. Aweful. My kiddo was also 8 and in second grade. The homework battle each night was causing huge upheaval in our home and I knew it was not good for my 8 year old, or his 2 year old twin brothers, or my husband, or I. My son had also come to hate school and lost his love of books. I did not particularly want to homeschool, but for this reason, I knew I had to do something to protect my son and our family, and we started 3rd grade as a homeschool family. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been way better than what was happening the other way.